Paris Test Event Ends With British Silver In Mixed Team Relay


The Great Britain team of Barclay Izzard, Kate Waugh, Alex Yee and Beth Potter narrowly missed out on a gold medal in the mixed team relay in the Paris Olympic Games Test event as Potter was out sprinted by Laura Lindemann of Germany.

Claiming her second medal of the week having won the women’s individual event, Potter said: “It was good. We delivered today, it’s good to be on the podium again. We’ve still got another year of training, so we’ll be fitter and stronger by next year. It’s exciting.”

Also adding to an individual gold in Paris, Yee commented: “You’ve got to learn to be adaptable to different situations and we all did that very well. We found out very early in the morning what was going on so for us to adapt, come together and race the way we did we should be proud.

“It’s an absolutely amazing race. There are so many beautiful landmarks to race round and the course is exciting. There’s lots of different things to it, it’s unpredictable so it means we have to learn about what we’re doing so it’s exciting to test it now at full speed and have a year to prepare that.”

Izzard said: “For me it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster because I wasn’t racing then I was racing and the same again today with not knowing. It’s been incredible to even get a start and perform the way I did.

“To be given these opportunities and show what I can do is cool.”

Waugh added: “It’s been good to come and experience the Olympic course for next year. It’s been very fun.

“I didn’t expect to be doing the relay today so it was a nice surprise for me to be racing and it’s wrapped up a pretty good week in Paris.”

Izzard started the race for the British side and, with the race being a duathlon (run, bike, run), the field remained bunched together entering T1 with the Brit in 12th as Emil Holm of Denmark led the early stages of the race.

Norway soon took the lead through Vetle Bergsvik Thorn, with Izzard moving up to seventh during the first lap of the bike as three seconds covered the entire field.

The lead continued to change hands, with Thorn trading top spot with Ricardo Batista of Portugal and Canada’s Tyler Mislawchuk, before T2 as Izzard settled into the pack in 15th.  He then gained ten places in T2 and remained amongst the leaders before eventually handing over to Waugh in seventh.

As France took the lead through Cassandre Beaugrand on the first run, Waugh moved her way up to third by T1. She then reduced Beaugrand’s lead and took control of the race on the bike moving into first place before T2. The French athlete regained top spot on the second run as Waugh dropped back to fourth behind Lisa Tertsch of Germany and Jolien Vermeylen of Belgium.

By the time Yee came into the contest he was 11 seconds off third place, as the top two of Jelle Geens of Belgium and France’s Leo Bergere pulled even further ahead.

Yee built a sizable advantage back to Spain’s Antonio Serrat Seoane but was still nine seconds behind German Jonas Schomburg at the start of the bike leg. At the end of lap one, the Brit had not cut into Schomburg’s advantage and was now 35 seconds off Bergere, with Geens in second also pulling away.

A mistake in T2 saw Yee lose time and he was quickly over-taken by both Portugal’s Vasco Vilaca and Hungary’s Csongor Lehmann as he dropped down to sixth at the start of 1.8km run.

Beth Potter started her leg in seventh with Germany’s Lindemann just ahead of her as she was involved in a six-team battle for third, with France’s Emma Lombardi and Belgium’s Claire Michel over 20 seconds clear out in front.

At the end of the first run, Potter had soon moved up to third and back into the podium places, 27 seconds off Lombardi who still led.

On the bike leg Lindemann, Hungary’s Marta Kropko and Portugal’s Melanie Santos joined Potter in a chasing group, which started the second lap of the bike together. As the race continued to progress, Lombardi remained out in front, but Potter had closed to within 10 seconds of Michel during that final lap to start the run.

The gap quickly dropped with Potter and Lindemann soon moving onto the podium places. The duo then had Lombardi in their sights as the gap dropped to just five seconds by the end of the first lap.

On the last lap Potter and Lindemann pulled themselves clear of the field and hit the blue carpet with just inches separating them, but it was the German who kicked on to take gold as Potter settled for the silver medal.

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